And, much to our surprise, it's from someone inside Reebok and not an Adi ex-patriot, like Mr. Becker was.
The new CMO will be Matt O’Toole, former (and brief) President of Reebok North America, pictured, below, left. He gets most of his accolades (via Becker) for the work he did in growing the business at the Reebok-CCM Hockey division, where he had been president and CEO, prior to assuming his Reebok NA duties.
In his new role, O’Toole will lead the brand’s global marketing efforts, including product and design, sports marketing, brand marketing, and public relations. In addition to those duties, he will continue to direct the hockey business.
And now, the lovefest from Becker.
“Matt was appointed to lead our U.S. organization on the strength of his exceptional track-record in building Reebok-CCM Hockey’s brand and business, as well as his outstanding strategic marketing expertise,” said Becker, in a statement. “These are the skills that make him a natural choice for the role of CMO. In his short time as president of Reebok North America, Matt made a huge impact on the brand, leading our restructuring efforts for the U.S. market.”
Taking over O’Toole’s old post, will be Jim Gabel, who has been tapped as President of Reebok North America. Gabel was formerly svp at Adidas America, where he managed the U.S. Adidas brand business as well as its TaylorMade and Adidas Golf Canada divisions.
O’Toole will be officially installed April 1, with Gabel’s appointment effective mid-April.
It's not news that the brand is in troubling times. In an earnings statement released earlier this month by adidas, Reebok, which reports in euros, posted sales of $3.55 billion (at current exchange rates) for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2007, down 6% from the year earlier.
The company slashed its advertising budget nearly in half last year, spending only $17 million on measured media, excluding online, for 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. That's down from $28 million in 2006. Maybe they'll pump the tank back to "Full" this year.
Here's hoping that the new team will be able to turn things around.
And now, in case you've missed it, a brief recap of stuff Reebok's been cooking up:
-Forthcoming, casual athletic-themed "Your Move" campaign, that we saw last year.
-A new line of Kool-Aid scented footwear.
-Oh yeah, and that "Freestyle World Tour" collection that's supposed to appeal to chicks across the globe.